Fatih "gob b" Dayik and BIG easily defeated NRG in their opening match, and then upset mousesports on Train in the last match of the day. We caught up with the German in-game leader at the player hotel to talk about the matches, BIG's form, and other upcoming events.
Johannes "nex" Maget and Kevin "keev" Bartholomäus topped the scoreboard for BIG in both their matches yesterday, helping secure a spot in the playoffs for the Germans. Fatih "gob b" Dayik explained that post-Krakow, one of the things the team has been experimenting with was keev's role.
You took down NRG and mousesports today to secure the top spot in your group. What are your thoughts on the matches today?
I think we played pretty well, but we also made some mistakes, and we've been talking about them. If we keep up our good mood and good communication, I think the final is reachable. I think Cloud9 will make the final, they look pretty good, but you never know, if mousesports make it out of the groups they will play against Cloud9. That will be a close matchup. We don't want to get ahead of ourselves, we will try to have the same day that we did today — good gun rounds, coordinated executes, and good communication. We hope it is enough for the final.
You totally neutralized mousesports' T-side, did you do anything special to game plan for them?
Funny thing, this was the first time we played with this CT setup. We changed Johannes "tabseN" Wodarz and I, I play inner now, and he plays my roles but a little bit different. We had a good idea how to counter their play, they played different than how we thought, but it worked out. It was a gamble to play Train like this, but we have had really bad Train results lately, so we needed to have a change. We were thinking about what the right change to make was, and I think we made it.
Johannes "nex" Maget had a great performance in that Train game, he seems to really shine under your leadership. What is it about the chemistry between you two that activates him, so to speak?
I don't really think it is just me, good chemistry is really important for him. If there is good communication and chemistry, then he is really motivated, and he wants to do more for the team. If that is not the case, he falls off into a hole, and doesn't play as well as he can or communicating as well as he can. So I think it is the team more than just myself.
Since the Major you guys have had lackluster online results, falling to teams that people would consider lower than yourselves. What have you been doing to address that?
We felt like we had a real disadvantage because of our internet connection, to be honest. The sad part is that it is now in our heads, so even though it is not the case, it is just the case for us. We play against really good online teams, like Sweden has the best internet in the world, I would say. We had this stuff in our mind, so we weren't focused 100% on the game. Maybe we are searching for excuses, but in our point-of-view it is just fact.
It has been hard, because we couldn't find the way we wanted to evolve. We wanted to use Kevin "keev" Bartholomäus a bit differently, make him more important to the game. It didn't work out, so we needed to readjust and find our old game. We have a lot of stuff going on, we tried a lot of things, in the end we said "OK, at the moment we are not in shape" — but that is also OK. At the moment our energy level is not as high as it was at the Major, when we had our peak. We knew what we wanted to play, we knew our positions very well. Now we need to climb that ladder again, and we are slowly doing it.
We've also been staying calm, because we are much stronger on LAN. We had some good results in online games, but most of the time not as good. We were really confident when we made EPL that we would make the finals, we thought it would be easy because we could be really prepared for matches each week. In reality it is not that easy, you have three matches a week, somehow, the map veto is a little confusing, etc. It didn't work out as we planned, so we needed to adapt. As I said we had other things going on where we couldn't focus, and I hope we can now.
Despite those performance issues, you have qualified for the WESG Europe + CIS Regional, you were invited to ESWC, and you are still in the running for a spot at WCA in China. How exciting is it for a relatively new project to be ascending so quickly?
At the start of the year we were just hoping to make EPL, and even though we have had rough games it is still possible to make the Finals — it is so close in Europe. We are not in a really bad situation. After the Major we wanted more, we wanted to qualify to one big international event, either New York or Oakland. We didn't make either, which was really hard for us. But we know it is not the time to be 100% on point right now. Our big goal for this year is WESG, and we want to win one smaller tournament as well. We have our shots, but we know we need to be on point when the Major comes.
BIG has backing from Unikrn, can you talk about the support that you get from the various organizations involved in the project?
The people behind Unikrn are really cool to us, they are fans. They are supportive and motivate us so much. Without them we wouldn't be here. The best part of what they are doing is supporting us, they are behind us 100%. Even if we play bad, they aren't just results-oriented. They know how hard we work, and they appreciate that — and we appreciate their appreciation!